Because it is not as popular as others, not much is known about the DigiByte. While many who are even vaguely familiar with cryptocurrency are aware of the name Satoshi, which refers to the creator of bitcoin, many do not know where DigitByte came from and its history up until now.
The DigitByte was created in 2013 by Jared Tate, an American developer, who wanted to improve on the Bitcoin Core protocol. The Genesis block for DigiByte was mined in January 2014 and as of that time, there was no initial coin offering attached to it. In the Genesis block, a headline from a USA Today article was included which alluded to the blockchain’s philosophy of privacy and data responsibility. This draws parallels to the headline included in the original Bitcoin Coinbase which alluded to Satoshi’s criticism of the global financial system.
Following the launch of DigitByte, Tate began working on the project full-time and also established the DigiByte Foundation. DigiByte then began seeing increased acceptance by the mid-2010s, with Dutch shopkeepers using the token for payment to suppliers in Hong Kong. This was the first instance of institutional use of DigitByte. In terms of the evolution of the blockchain, DigiByte was one of the first blockchains to implement certain protocols such as SEgWit and MultiAnglo mining.
Timeline of Hard Forks
The DigiByte ecosystem has experienced a number of hard forks over the years among many other changes.
The first of these was the DigiShield a hard fork which took place on February 28, 2014. The effect of this was that the ecosystem was protected against large multi-pools that were mining large amounts of tokens at low difficulty. When these pools begin or stop their activities, the network recalculates the difficulty between each block, compared to networks like Bitcoin, which re-calculated periodically. Since then, over 20 other tokens have implemented the same protocol to the same effect.
The second hard fork which took place was the MultiAlgo on September 1, 2014. This hard fork originated from the Myriadcoin source code and allowed for multi-algorithm mining. This created different proof-of-work systems for various types of mining capabilities. The end goal of this is that more people can access the DigiByte mining pools and the network was made more decentralized.
In December 2014, the MultiShield hard fork was initiated which activated DigiShield across the new MultiAlgo platform. A year later in December 2015, the DigiShield hard fork was initiated which was intended to help increase transaction speeds using DigiByte coin. The hard fork was a success, with transaction times being reduced by half, which was 15 seconds. As a result, DigiByte was able to handle up to 560 transactions per second. Besides this hard fork, the DigiByte network doubles the number of transactions per second every two years, making transactions faster and more efficient as a result.
The Odocrypt hard fork was implemented on July 21, 2019, and introduced an FPGA-friendly hashing algorithm that refreshes every 10 days. The last hard fork occurred in May 2019 and was the Dandelion++. The purpose of the Dandelion++ was to ensure greater privacy for those who made use of DigiByte by hiding the IP addresses of users. The harkens back to the creation of DigiByte and the belief that user data should be protected and privacy afforded to them.
Change in Management
Jared Tate had been at the helm of DigiByte since its inception but announced in May 2020 that he would be stepping down from daily operations. According to him, this is because the initial vision of DigiByte has been co-opted by greed. He stated that he would not sit back and watch the project he dedicated so many years to become corrupted.
“All 90% of the people care for is cashing out when a coin moons,” he said. “It’s a primal force. I get that. But everyday I see this tech being used to enrich the few at the expense of the long term good of the many.“
This came weeks after the token had seen a 900% spike in value. He said that the centralization of DigiByte and the industry at large would be its undoing. Rather than completely distance himself from DigiByte, he intends to “be focusing on using open source DGB tech to build some commercial applications”.
In his official announcement, he reiterated that a decentralized project must stand on its own and not on its founders’ opinions. He then admonished the community to take Digibyte to new heights.